Conservatives have never quite gotten President Barack Obama’s glamour. They didn’t understand the Beatles or JFK’s glamour, either. Or, rather, they got it, but didn’t like it. The same goes for Obama’s glamour. Maybe conservatives do get it, but just don’t like it because it’s Dear Leader cultish, hardly in-keeping with an independent people.
They did ring to Ronald Reagan’s glamour, though. They embraced it without irony.
But in the Age of People Magazine, how does Boss Tweed (a.k.a. Newt Gingrich) compete, in an election, with Al Green?
I admit that Gingrich has a gloriously thick mane of healthy white-silver hair, and he carries it like an Apollonian helmet, blinding as harsh sunlight. In stage lighting, there’s beauty in the sheen of it. It supports his “one who speaks with authority” persona, and makes up (somewhat) for his otherwise Pillsbury doughiness. Gingrich leads with his head (at least in public). And, by the end of this year, that iconic visual—Gingrich as big brain with helmet mane—may capture the imagination of the electorate.
But still. Behold the competition. Our shape-shifting American Dionysus:
And the original.